Nothing lasts forever, and the recent losses of Václav Havel and Josef Škvorecký emphasize the finitude of what was probably the greatest generation of Czech writers. Fortunately, there are numerous younger writers whose work is becoming better known at home and abroad, while for English speakers there remain prominent figures in Czech literary history still to be discovered.
Czech novelist, screenwriter and documentary filmmaker Martin Ryšavý is the recipient of the 2011 Josef Škvorecký Prize for his novel “Vrač.” Cited for its formal features of a continuous monologue as well as its focus on Russia, his victory did not come as a major surprise as his novel lead in the voting from the first round. In its fifth year, the prize comes with a glass trophy and Kč 250,000.
Czech writers such as Milan Kundera, Bohumíl Hrabal and Josef Škvorecký were an imposing presence in world literature in the last few decades of the 20th Century. Today, a new generations of Czech novelists is beginning to make its mark. Coming off a recent appearance at the International Literature Festival Berlin, novelist Tomáš Zmeškal spoke to Czech Position about the literary moment.